Wed | Jan 16, 2019

'I am just Kemar Bailey-Cole'

Published:Friday | August 9, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Kemar Bailey-Cole on the training track in Moscow yesterday. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

MOSCOW, Russia:

Many see him as the 'next Usain Bolt'. After all, like his more celebrated training partner, he is rather tall and pretty quick as well, but Kemar Bailey-Cole just wants to be Kemar Bailey-Cole for now, as he targets a medal at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics - any medal.

Bailey-Cole has been busily building on last year's Olympic Games appearance in the 4x100m heats, with a couple of sub-10 times this season and despite his preference, is unlikely to stop hearing the Bolt comparisons any time soon.

In fact, even Bolt himself has weighed in.

"He (Bolt) says I can become better than him, but it's all about time," Bailey-Cole said. "I am just me though I am not the next Bolt. I am just Kemar Bailey-Cole."

Nonetheless, Bailey-Cole, who finished second in the 100m behind Bolt at the National Championships in 9.98, after warming up a few weeks earlier with a 9.96 run at a Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association All Comers meet with a personal best 9.96, is zoned in on his own legacy, which he hopes to start with a medal here, regardless of its colour.

GOING FOR A MEDAL

"I am very happy to be running in the individual 100m event here in Moscow 2013. My objective is to make it through the rounds, go through to the final and then get a medal, any medal," said Bailey-Cole to The Gleaner yesterday.

It will be his first individual appearance at a major senior international event, after helping Jamaica to qualify for the 4x100m at the London Olympic last year with a powerful anchor leg run for the win.

That experience, along with an injury-free background season - his first since going pro - has galvanised his self-belief heading into the championship.

"Right now, I don't have any problems. My background season went very well and I'm looking forward to get started here," Bailey-Cole added.

"Last year's (Olympic 4x100m) gold medal gave me a boost and pushed me to come here and show the world that I can do a lot more," said Bailey-Cole, adding that training alongside the likes of Bolt, Warren Weir and Yohan Blake on a daily basis has also served as a source of motivation.

"That, too, has given me more confidence to go out there, believe in myself, and go out there and do my best, because I train with these guys who are the best in the world," Bailey-Cole said.

Like it or not, an individual medal here will really get the comparisons going. Maybe that's not too bad a problem to have."

- Andre Lowe